This almond pound cake with a tender buttery crumb is so amazing and actually has almonds in it! Top it with a chocolate glaze and it is even more delicious. There is a secret ingredient that gives it that incredible ground almond like texture.
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Pound Cake With Almond Paste
The original pound cake got it's name from the recipe which was made using a pound each of butter, sugar, flour and eggs. Over the years, pound cakes have evolved to include a larger variety of cakes and this incredible almond cake now joins those.
Most almond pound cake recipes are simple modifications of the original, with addition of a tiny bit of almond flavor. Not many of these actually include real almonds. So, now the problem is solved with this real deal almond pound cake.
I use marzipan, which is a paste made with almonds, to add a rich taste and texture. Then I also add corn starch, instead of using only all purpose flour like other almond cake recipes. Corn starch does not have gluten, so it gives the cake a subtle sandy texture, reminiscent of super-fine ground almonds.
Now, the result is a cake that is dense, buttery, tender, flavorful and so easy. Keep it simple or take it up a notch with apricot or chocolate glaze.
Ingredients You Will Need
Here are some notes about ingredients.
- Almond Paste or Marzipan: You can use either of these, and both are easily available online or at supermarkets. Marzipan has a higher proportion of sugar. So if using almond paste, be sure to adjust the sugar as indicated in the recipe.
- Almond Extract: A little goes a long way when it comes to this extract, so use only a tiny bit.
- Corn Starch: This is what gives the interesting texture. If you want to use flour instead of that, then replace it by weight.
- Baking Powder: To check if it is active, take ½ teaspoon baking powder in a small bowl and pour ¼ cup of hot water over that. If it foams up, then the baking powder is active.
- Salt: To enhance the sweetness and balance flavor.
- Milk: Start with 2 tablespoons and add more as needed for a slow dropping consistency.
- Apricot Jam: I used a jam made with fresh apricots and fruit juices. The jam should be smooth, not chunky.
- Chocolate: I use good quality semi-sweet or dark chocolate bars rather than chocolate chips.
- Coconut Oil: Adding this gives a smooth glaze.
- Eggs: We use large eggs that are at room temperature. Make sure that all your ingredients are at room temperature.
- Unsalted Butter, Sugar, Vanilla, Flour
- Rose water (optional): This is used in the making of marzipan. If using almond paste, add this for that marzipan like flavor.
Immerse cold eggs in warm water for five minutes to bring them to room temperature.
How to Make Real Almond Pound Cake
Brief overview below. *Full recipe at the end of blog post.
- Almond Paste/Marzipan: Warm up marzipan or almond paste with water and crush into a smooth paste.
- Wet Ingredients: Whisk marzipan paste with butter, followed by sugar, until fluffy. Stir in flavors. Add eggs, one at a time and continue to beat.
- Dry Ingredients: Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Sift into egg-sugar mixture in batches, alternating with milk and corn starch to get a batter that has a slow dropping consistency.
- Bake: Transfer cake batter to loaf pan and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Decorate: Top with apricot jam syrup and/or chocolate glaze.
- Soften the marzipan paste really well into a smooth and pliable mass that mixes easily into the batter to prevent any lumps.
- Fold the flour in evenly and scrape the bottom of bowl to not miss any flour. But do not over mix the batter.
- And do not over bake the cake. Watch the temperature and time.
How To Serve This Cake
- Simple or Fancy: This almond pound cake tastes great just as it is. But you can take it up a notch with the apricot and/or chocolate glaze. Top with a few almond slices on either glaze.
- With Ice Cream: Serve it with vanilla ice cream, raspberries and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
- Make Trifle: Slice the cake and use it to make an amazing trifle dessert. The dense cake will soak up all the juices for great texture and the subtle almond flavor makes it even more delicious.
These are suggestions to try for this almond pound cake recipe, but I have not tested some of them.
- Gluten Free: Try substituting all purpose flour with gluten free flour.
- Vegan: Combine thin nut-butter (tahini consistency) with equal amount of oil and replace butter by weight. Check this marble cake recipe that uses this approach. You may try replacing eggs with ¾ cup thick vegan yogurt. Use plant based milk and dairy-free chocolate.
- Dairy Free: Combine thin nut-butter (tahini consistency) with equal amount of oil and replace butter by weight or try vegan butter. Use plant based milk and dairy-free chocolate.
- Egg Free: You can probably try replacing eggs with ¾ cup thick vegan yogurt.
- Substitute the flour and corn starch with whole wheat pastry flour using weight measures. Try a partial substitution first and scale it up as per taste.
- Allulose is a new sweetener that is gaining acceptance. It is a natural sugar that does not get digested and is supposed to give better results with baking than other non-nutritive sweeteners. Skip the glazes.
Measure all the ingredients and have them ready. Make sure that they are at room temperature before making the batter. You can soften the almond paste ahead, and microwave it 15 seconds before using.
- Room Temp/Refrigerate: This almond pound cake is best enjoyed at room temperature. Store it in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, or about 5 days in a refrigerator. It may dry out a bit when refrigerated.
- Freeze: Wrap cake in parchment paper or plastic wrap, then pack in freezer safe bags and freeze for up to a month.
- Let the cake come to room temperature before serving.
Substituting with almond flour will make the cake denser and richer. It will also require modifications of the other ingredients used in the recipe. The cake already has a significant amount of almonds in the form of paste.
The pound cake crust becomes hard when it is baked at a high temperature for too long. Baking it at a lower temperature but longer will ensure that the outside does not over-bake and the inside remains tender. Be sure to check your oven calibration.
Be sure to pay attention to the batter consistency, baking temperature and time as specified in the almond pound cake recipe. Also, brush the cake with apricot jam syrup to make it even more moist.
If there is too much flour and less liquid ingredients it can make the cake dry. And if you bake it much longer than needed, it can dry out the cake. Measuring your ingredients properly will ensure a moist cake.
This is a vegetarian and soy free dessert to be enjoyed in moderation. It is pretty rich, but even a small slice is so satisfying. Serve it with lots of fresh berries.
It can also be enjoyed without the glazes. Be sure to check out the variations above for ideas to make this to suit your lifestyle and to lighten it up. Also, when possible try to use grass fed dairy products.
More Almond Recipes
- Almond Biscotti Recipe
- Sweet and Savory Roasted Party Nuts
- Apricot Almond Marzipan Stollen
- Almond Granola Bars (Energy Bars)
★ DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? PLEASE COMMENT AND GIVE IT A STAR RATING BELOW!
Almond Pound Cake
- 7 ounces marzipan or almond paste, 200 g
- ¾ cup unsalted butter room temperature, 175 g
- ¾ cup sugar 2 tablespoon more if using almond paste
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or sugar
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 tablespoon rose water optional, see note
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup corn starch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons milk 2 tablespoon more as needed, room temperature
Apricot Glaze (optional)
- ¼ cup apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon water
Chocolate Glaze (optional, recommended)
- 2 tablespoons almond slices
- Prep: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 8½ x 4½ inch loaf pan and set aside. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and if needed the sides of the pan as well.
- Marzipan/Almond Paste: Crumble marzipan in a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons water and heat in microwave for 15 to 30 seconds. Using a fork, crush it into a smooth and pliable mass, adding more water as needed.
- Wet Ingredients: Using a hand mixer, whisk marzipan paste with butter at high speed until creamy. Add sugar and beat until the mixture is fluffy. Stir in vanilla and almond extract. Add eggs, one at a time and continue to beat.
- Batter: Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk it into butter-sugar-egg mixture in 2 batches, beating at medium speed and adding 2 tablespoons milk in between. Then add corn starch in 2 batches, adding more milk as needed, to get a batter that has a slow dropping consistency.
- Tip: Each time, fold the flour in evenly and scrape the bottom of bowl to not miss any flour. But don't over mix the batter.
- Bake: Transfer cake batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake in the center rack for about 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not over-bake.
- Cool: Remove the cake pan from the oven. Let it rest a few minutes and invert the cake from the baking pan onto a cooling rack and let it cool completely.
- Glaze: The cake is delicious as it is but you can cover it with apricot syrup and/or add a chocolate glaze. Top with almond slices if you prefer.
Apricot Syrup (optional)
- Heat the apricot jam in a small sauce pan with 1 tablespoon of water and reduce it to very thick honey like consistency. Pour it over the cake and spread it on top and sides.
Chocolate Glaze (optional)
- Melt chopped chocolate in a microwave or over a double boiler. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat it for 30 seconds initially, followed by 15 second increments, stirring in between, until smooth and melted.
- Stir in 2 teaspoons of coconut oil until it reaches smooth but thick consistency.
- Pour the melted chocolate over the cake and spread it evenly.
- Use all ingredients at room temperature.
- Be sure to measure the ingredients properly. Fluff the flour, spoon it into the cups and then level it off. Even better is to use a kitchen scale and weigh your dry ingredients.
- Rose water (optional): This is used in the making of marzipan. If using almond paste, add this for that marzipan like flavor. Adjust the amount of milk used, to get a batter that has a slow dropping consistency.
- To use other baking pans, follow this guide.
- Make Ahead: Measure ingredients and have them ready at room temperature before making the batter. Soften the almond paste ahead, and microwave it 15 seconds before using.
- Storage: Keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, or about 5 days in a refrigerator. It may dry out a bit when refrigerated. To freeze, wrap cake in parchment paper or plastic wrap and pack in freezer safe bags for up to a month.
- Serve: Let the cake come to room temperature before serving
- For more information on ingredients, variations, recipe FAQs and serving suggestions, scroll up the page to the blog post.